I finally managed to get a few images of the wildlife we saw this week up onto Flickr. Here they are.

Some by me, some by my daughter; some willing birds and animals, some less so. Lizards, Steenbok, Grey Rheboks, Blue Crane (above), Ostriches and a Cape Lappet Moth caterpillar.

The drive through to Black Oystercatcher never ceases to yield some amazing flora and fauna.

I have some sorting out to do on my Flickr stream, and I’ll get to that soon.

Quota skink

Out at the Black Oystercatcher a couple of weeks back, we spotted this Cape Skink (Trachylepsis capensis) on the way into the restaurant (us, not him).

Check the three stripe detail on those scales (bigger here). Sponsored by Adidas, clearly.

He was quite willing to pose for us, although disappeared into the “koffieklip” conglomerate when we got too close. It’s worth noting that these lizards can be domesticated, but also that wikipedia says that they “have a tendency to become quite overweight” in these cases.

This one was very tame and a seriously fat bastard.
So sure, n=1, but wikipedia seems to be spot on again.


With wall-to-wall sunshine, a fridge full of Milk Stout, a wine rack full of… well… wine, together with limited internet, it’s fairly easy to relax down here in Agulhas.

Yesterday was a day for one of those trips through to the Black Oystercatcher for great food and great wine, and a meandering journey through the National Park stopping to try and spot various wildlifes along the way. Most of the wildlifes were birds, including two new species for me – the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) and a Denham’s Bustard (Neotis denhami). I don’t keep records of these things like some people do, but I like to know what I’m looking at, and it’s always interesting to see something different.

We thought that we’d try to add some flamingoes to the list on the local salt pan, but it was entirely devoid of any birdlife. Still, it did allow for some interesting photography opportunities.

I’ll upload more when I get back to just 6000 miles from civilisation…
(although if you can’t wait, there’s always Instagram).

Today is all about rockpools, beagle walks, fish ‘n’ chips, afternoon naps and beers by the braai.

Every ingredient for a perfectly chilled Monday.

Wine place buys beer place

Hmm. A commercial amalgamation of two of my favourite Agulhas brands? Sounds perfect.

News finally came out this week that Black Oystercatcher Wines has bought up local craft brewing outfit Fraser’s Folly.

The brewhouse will now move to the Black Oystercatcher Wine Farm, where founder and brewmaster Fraser Crighton will continue to make and represent the beer.

We need to take a Sho’t… er… Right and get down to the new, improved Black Oystercatcher before the summer season starts (and then possibly when the summer season starts as well). The old cow sheds have been replaced by a spectacular new building with more light, more capacity and more space.



Although I’m a little disappointed that we can’t make it for the Elim wine festival this weekend, I’m assured that it’ll still be there next time we go down.

Can’t wait…


So, it turns out that my photographs of the endangered African Black Oystercatchers that I took on the day of the walk didn’t win any awards in the photography competition organised by the Elim wine farm of the same name.

Sad. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t make decent quota photos for this blog post.

25348516034_bfc3b77714_z  25886225881_b26be5465f_z
Awesome birds. You can see them in their full glory here and here. And then you can click the left and right arrows to see more Oystercatcher pictures.
You know you want to.

Meanwhile, the competition continues apace on Facebook, where it’s sadly become more of a popularity contest than a judgement based on photographic talent. You can see all of the top 5 there, but something has gone very wrong if this one (it’s number 4) doesn’t win.

More from me tomorrow, as I mentally prepare to head through the lentil curtain to the Other Side Of The Mountain, where be dragons (allegedly), and scary people (definitely).